Materials Science Stories
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Synthetic polymers enable cheap, efficient, durable alkaline fuel cells

Synthetic polymers enable cheap, efficient, durable alkaline fuel cells | Materials Science Stories | Scoop.it
A new cost-effective polymer membrane can decrease the cost of alkaline batteries and fuel cells by allowing the replacement of expensive platinum catalysts without sacrificing important aspects of performance.
Beth Robinson's insight:

What caught my eye was that the experimental results showed that the version most effective in use was not the one that was predicted to be so.

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How Carnegie uses sugarcane to make greener textiles

How Carnegie uses sugarcane to make greener textiles | Materials Science Stories | Scoop.it

"Carnegie designed the world's first bio-based textile for interior panels, wall coverings and upholstery. ... Sugarcane has a much higher yield per acre than corn and it generally doesn't require genetic modification."

Beth Robinson's insight:

Interesting story about working to meet a specific goal. 

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Stronger than a speeding bullet - new nanostructured material could lead to better armor against everything from gunfire to micrometeorites

Stronger than a speeding bullet - new nanostructured material could lead to better armor against everything from gunfire to micrometeorites | Materials Science Stories | Scoop.it

“The key to developing materials with better impact resistance is to understand deformation and failure behavior at the tip of an advancing projectile,” Shockey says. “We need to be able to see that.” 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Beth Robinson's insight:

It's not that the material itself is a better armor - it's that it allows the researchers to test something that's not been viewed before in order to advance the development of materials that will be better armor. Which is a pretty cool visualization method.

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New coating turns ordinary glass into super glass

New coating turns ordinary glass into super glass | Materials Science Stories | Scoop.it

""We set ourselves a challenging goal: to design a versatile coating that's as good as SLIPS but much easier to apply, transparent, and much tougher -- and that is what we managed," Aizenberg said."

Beth Robinson's insight:

Really neat details about how the honeycomb structure makes this improvement on a previous advance possible.

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Lignum Vitae: Wood So Bad-Ass, It's Used to Make Shaft Bearings for Nuclear Submarines (and More)

Lignum Vitae: Wood So Bad-Ass, It's Used to Make Shaft Bearings for Nuclear Submarines (and More) | Materials Science Stories | Scoop.it

"Lignum Vitae, Latin for "Tree of Life," is the national tree of the Bahamas. It's also the world's densest wood... In addition to being strong, hard, heavy, dense, water- and salt-water-resistant, Lignum Vitae contains natural oils that make the bearings self-lubricating.

Beth Robinson's insight:

I didn't know wood could do this. And I certainly didn't think of wood as being useful as a bearing in plants and turbines. Very cool.

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New Metallic Bubble Wrap: Thinner, Stronger, Better

New Metallic Bubble Wrap: Thinner, Stronger, Better | Materials Science Stories | Scoop.it

"Afsaneh Rabiei, professor of engineering North Carolina State University, and her team started with a thin sheet of aluminum and used a studded roller to form small indents in the sheet. Instead of capturing air in these indentations, she filled them with a foaming agent like calcium carbonate or titanium hydrate."

Beth Robinson's insight:

Processing a common material differently made it suitable for a whole different suite of uses.

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